The Google Doodle commemorating the 240th birthday of Richard Trevithick, one of the fathers of steam locomotion, tore itself apart today, when the gears at its centre were found to be in a locked formation. Unfortunately, the Doodle had already been published, and there are several reports from around the globe of computer users being injured when teeth from the twin drive gears sheared off.
Google rushed to explain that the Doodle was not a factual copy of Trevithick's design, but had been changed to become a representation of the word Google. However by that time the damage had been done.
Helena Handcart, a third-year engineering undergraduate, said that she had experienced the problem for herself. "I was about to search for paragraphs to insert into my dissertation when there was this horrendous screeching noise. I looked up to see the Doodle's gears locked and starting to strip. Luckily for me a shear pin broke before there was a nasty industrial accident."
Miss Handcart went on to explain the ramifications of the issue. "It means that there is a fundamental fault in the design of steam engine drive trains going back to 1800. This is proof that they never really worked. We have built all our subsequent engineering technology on a myth. I'm changing to History of Art."
Microsoft immediately denounced the fault. In a press release they lambasted Google's quality assurance process, suggesting that the design could not have been fully tested before release. They also claimed that the fault was worse in Google's Chrome browser than in Internet Explorer. "The separate instances that Chrome uses for each browser session means that multiple Google Doodles will compound the problem, increasing the danger. Fortunately, in the event of poorly-designed industrial programming, Internet Explorer will vent the pent-up energy using its BSOD safety valve."